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Mike Rhoades announces Penn State basketball coaching staff

Five new additions were added to the Penn State basketball staff Friday.



Mike Rhoades, Penn State basketball coaching staff
Nov 25, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Mike Rhoades reacts against the Baylor Bears during the second half in the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

State College — It’s been a busy week for the Penn State Nittany Lions basketball program. A day after being officially introduced as head coach, Mike Rhoades announced the first additions to his Penn State basketball coaching staff on Friday. The staff includes many of Rhoades’s former assistants from his previous coaching destinations and an infusion of Penn State blood back into the program.

Mike Rhoades brings VCU staff to Happy Valley

Four of the five hires announced on Friday served with Rhoades on his VCU staff. Associate head coach Jamal Brunt played for Mike Rhoades at Randolph-Macon before joining the Yellow Jackets’ staff. He also coached at Miami with former Penn State assistant coach and new Temple head coach Adam Fisher. Brent Scott coached with Rhoades at Rice before following him to VCU in 2017. Before joining Rhoades’s staff, Scott spent nine years coaching at the Power Five level, with stops at LSU and TCU.

Like Mike Rhoades, several new Penn State coaching staff members also have Pennsylvania ties. J. D. Byers was a D-III All-American at Lebanon Valley College, where Rhoades also played. Both have their numbers retired by the school. Byers has served on Rhoades’s staff at Randolph-Macon, Rice, and VCU. New chief of staff Jimmy Martelli played at both the University of Scranton and Dickinson College before following his father, legendary coach (and current Michigan associate head coach) Phil Martelli, into the coaching ranks. Martelli coached with Rhoades at Randolph-Macon before joining the VCU staff as director of basketball operations.

Nittany Lion legend returns to Penn State basketball coaching staff

The highlight of the Penn State basketball coaching staff for many fans is the return of Nittany Lion legend Joe Crispin. Crispin was a four-year starter at Penn State and team captain for the Nittany Lions’ 2001 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run. More than 20 years after his collegiate playing career, Crispin is still top-five in program history for scoring, three-pointers, and assists. After Penn State, Crispin played in the NBA for a season before embarking on a professional career in Europe.

Joe Crispin spent the last seven years as head coach of Rowan University, where he held a 114-54 record. As a head coach, Crispin was known for his prolific offenses. Rowan averaged at least 80 points a game for the previous six years, including over 90 points per game in the last two seasons. Now, he joins Mike Rhoades’s staff as assistant to the head coach.

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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